How Proust Can Change Your Life by Alain de Botton

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Alain de Botton combines two unlikely genres--literary biography and self-help manual--in the hilarious and unexpectedly practical How Proust Can Change Your Life.

Who would have thought that Marcel Proust, one of the most important writers of our century, could provide us with such a rich source of insight into how best to live life? Proust understood that the essence and value of life was the sum of its everyday parts. As relevant today as they were at the turn of the century, Proust's life and work are transformed here into a no-nonsense guide to, among other things, enjoying your vacation, reviving a relationship, achieving original and unclichéd articulation, being a good host, recognizing love, and understanding why you should never sleep with someone on a first date. It took de Botton to find the inspirational in Proust's essays, letters and fiction and, perhaps even more surprising, to draw out a vivid and clarifying portrait of the master from between the lines of his work.

Here is Proust as we have never seen or read him before: witty, intelligent, pragmatic. He might well change your life.
 

About Alain de Botton

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Alain de Botton is the bestselling author of How Proust Can Change Your Life, as well as numerous other works of fiction and essays. He is well-known for making complex philosophical and artistic subjects accessible for a wider audience. De Botton founded the School of Life, a series of lectures in London that aim to make academic learning applicable to real life. With the success of the school, this concept was adapted into The School of Life book series. De Botton lives and works in London.
 
Published January 1, 1997 by Denoel. 214 pages
Genres: Humor & Entertainment, Literature & Fiction, Biographies & Memoirs, Education & Reference, Self Help, Law & Philosophy, Health, Fitness & Dieting. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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De Botton even turns up a gem of Proust's miscellaneous criticism in an essay on the artist Chardin, whose closely observed paintings of ordinary people and objects Proust recommends as an aesthetic tonic to an imaginary depressed "young man of limited means and artistic tastes."

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Publishers Weekly

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Generally writers fall into one of two camps: those who feel that one can't write without having a firm grasp on Proust, and those who, like Virginia Woolf, are crippled by his influence. De Botton, t

Mar 31 1997 | Read Full Review of How Proust Can Change Your Life

Publishers Weekly

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but while White claims that his work owes ""everything"" to the most recent of Proust's biographers, Jean-Yves Tadie, no one can match White's sensibility or his sympathy for the subject.

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Publishers Weekly

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For example, in the chapter titled ""How to Suffer Successfully,"" de Botton lists poor Proust's many difficulties (asthma, ""awkward desires,"" sensitive skin, a Jewish mother, fear of mice), which is essentially a funny way of telling the reader quite a lot about the man's life.

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BC Books

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Home Books Marcel Proust was cooler than you are.

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Smithsonian

In just under 200 pages, de Botton gives readers the essence of Proust while offering his own quirky views on the perils of living.

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